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After huge win, UCF gets even bigger news with commitment from 5-star Mikey Williams

Five-star swing player Mikey Williams, the No. 26 player in the nation for the Class of 2023 (247 Sports), has committed to UCF, according to ESPN.

Williams, who signed with Memphis last year, never played a game for the Tigers due to a criminal matter involving a shooting outside his San Diego County home earlier last year. He entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday and news circulated Friday that he had committed to play for the Knights.

The huge news is coming off the Knights’ shocking 65-60 victory over No. 3 Kansas on Wednesday night at Addition Financial Arena. UCF (10-4) hosts No. 18 BYU on Saturday at 4 p.m. (CBS Sports Network).

Whether he will be eligible immediately is unclear and it is also unclear if he has already enrolled in classes at UCF. Coach Johnny Dawkins was unavailable for comment. He was driving at the time the Sentinel attempted to text-message him.

“All I needed was a chance,” Williams posted on his Instagram account, with several photos of him in a UCF uniform.

He has nearly four million followers on his @mikey account.

It’s the first 5-star player UCF has ever had commit to the program and the biggest-name player since Michael Jordan’s son Marcus Jordan (2009-2012) and Tacko Fall (2015-2019).

Williams averaged 24.8 points and 9.2 assists a game for San Ysidro (Calif.) last year. The dynamic combo guard was the 34th-ranked player on ESPN’s most recent Top 100 list.

Former Orlando Magic star and Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway acknowledged Williams’ decision on Wednesday to the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

“He has the right to do what he needs to do for himself, and I wish him well,” Hardaway said.

The criminal incident Williams is facing happened in March of last year.

San Diego County authorities said the at-the-time 18-year-old faced multiple counts of assault with a firearm and was released after posting a $50,000 bond.

The arrest stems from a March 17 shooting at his home. An argument just before midnight ended with gunshots being fired at a car that was leaving the house with five passengers inside it, police said in a news release. Bullets hit the car, but nobody inside was injured, police said.

Williams eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in December.

He had faced nine felony counts and up to 30 years in prison stemming from the shooting. In a deal with prosecutors, Williams pleaded guilty to one felony count of making a criminal threat and to a special allegation of using a firearm during the threat, San Diego attorney Randy M. Grossman said.

In exchange, the other eight counts were dismissed and Williams was ordered to complete a gun-safety course, attend anger management sessions and do 80 hours of community service.

Sentencing was set for Aug. 12, 2024, in San Diego County Superior Court, when the charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor if Williams follows terms of the deal and avoids any criminal offenses, Grossman said.

Although a judge would have the discretion to sentence Williams to a year in jail, “No custody is contemplated,” the attorney said.

According to the Associated Press, Williams is one of the NIL era’s earliest stars, securing a multi-year deal with shoe and athletic apparel maker Puma for an undisclosed amount in 2021. He has millions of followers across his social media platforms, and On3.com estimates his NIL valuation at $3.6 million.


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